Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday inaugurated Bangladesh Infrastructure Development Fund (BIDF) aiming to finance different development projects from the country’s own fund.
The BIDF that formed taking funds from the foreign exchange reserves began its journey through financing to the capital and maintenance dredging in Ramnabad Channel of the Paira Port.To this end, a tripartite agreement between the Finance Division, Paira Port Authority and Sonali Bank was signed today at the Finance Division.
BIDF is the first such its kind in South Asia as well as in the world which would finance the development activities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the signing ceremony as chief guest virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Speaking on the occasion, she said as a developing nation now Bangladesh has to move on with its own feet and run develop works with its own financing towards becoming a developed country.
Mentioning that during this Covid-19 situation the country’s foreign currency reserve was increased alongside reduction of other costs, Sheikh Hasina said the government has thought about the potential use of this foreign currency to move out from loan dependency rather make instances of own financing or loan.
She said the government has framed the BIDF keeping the foreign currency reserve to meet the country’s import cost of six months considering frequent natural calamities here and utilize the surplus forex reserve for profitable development works.“This endeavor will be for an effective investment of surplus foreign currency reserve,” she said, adding “It will not only be beneficial for the country but also help us to grow our own confidence and self-esteem, and we will be able to show the world that we can do it.”
The premier said investors now could borrow from the BIDF and use it in the country’s development initiatives.
Regarding the financing to the Paira Port, she said deep sea port could be established in future centering this port. The Prime Minister expressed her gratitude to the authorities concerned to materialize her concept of using the surplus foreign currency reserve.
She raised the topic of taking loans from the forex reserves at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) last year.
Later, Bangladesh Bank and Finance Division took necessary effective measures in this regard.
In the financing of Ramnabad Channel, Bangladesh Bank will issue loan to Sonali Bank and Sonali Bank will disburse it to the Paira Port as loan.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves now stood a new record of over US$ 44.02 billion due to the upward trend of remittance.
Finance Minister AHM Mustfa Kamal, MP State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, MP and Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir also spoke on the ceremony.
Senior Secretary of Finance Division Abdur Rouf Talukder made a presentation on the country’s micro economy and BIDF while Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the function.
On the outset of the ceremony, a theme song was played while a video on the Paira Port was screened.